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21.03.2006 Business & Finance

Labour Law follows traditions of maritime industry

By GNA

Accra, March 21, GNA - The National Labour Commission (NLC) says sections of the Labour Law on casual workers conformed to the traditions of the maritime industry and in the industry's best interest. The Commission said it had not been stated anywhere in the Labour Law that casual workers should be elevated to permanent status after six months of engagement.

The Commission, in a release on Tuesday, signed by J. K. Bapuuroh, Acting Executive Secretary, said calls on Parliament to reconsider sections of the Law on casual workers were unnecessary.

The NLC said the call, by Mr Ben Owusu Mensah, Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), was unnecessary because the social partners in labour and framers of the Law took into consideration the demands of the maritime and other industries that engaged casual workers after studying best practices in other parts of the world.

The Law defines a casual worker as one whose work is seasonal or intermittent and not for continuous period of more than six months and whose remuneration is calculated on daily basis.

"...It is the nature of the occupation of the workers that defines him/ her as casual worker and not what the employer defines the worker to be", the Commission said.

The Labour Commission said a temporary worker on the other hand is "is one who is employed for a continuous period of not less that one month and is not a permanent worker or employed for work that is seasonal in character".

"In the case of a temporary worker, the Law provides that where he or she is employed by the same employer for a continuous period of six months and more, he/she shall be treated as a permanent worker," the Commission said.

The Commission appealed to employers and workers to approach it for explanation as to the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Labour Law instead of rushing to call for their amendment.

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